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Chicago pups line up for drive-thru pet food pantry near Cook County Jail

Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s drive-thru pet pantry distributed treats, toys and pet accessories to people in about 200 cars Saturday morning.

Jose Rodriguez feeds his dog Guccie Rosé after receiving treats during the Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s drive-up pet food pantry near West 28th Street and South California Boulevard in the Little Village neighborhood, Saturday morning, Feb. 20, 2021, where they distributed food, treats and toys to about 200 households.
Jose Rodriguez feeds his dog Guccie Rosé after receiving treats during the Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s drive-up pet food pantry near West 28th Street and South California Boulevard in the Little Village neighborhood on Saturday.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times, Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Canines were in for a drive-thru treat Saturday morning near the Cook County Jail.

Jose Rodriguez drove 40 minutes and waited another 40 to claim dog food from the drive-thru pet pantry sponsored by the Cook County sheriff’s office, which distributed treats, toys and accessories to people who could use the help as the coronavirus pandemic wears on.

Rodriguez was among about 200 drivers who pulled up to West 28th Street and South California Boulevard, where his beloved Gucci Rosé nearly leapt out the window when a volunteer walked up with a treat.

Linda Wyka, president of Fetching Tails Foundation, gives Gucci Rosé a treat during the Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s drive-up pet food pantry.
Linda Wyka, president of Fetching Tails Foundation, gives Gucci Rosé a treat during the Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s drive-up pet food pantry.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

“We love it because it helps out especially right now with, you know, being out of work... This one’s expensive,” said Cragin resident Rodriguez, adding he spends about $150 to $200 a month on his dog Gucci Rosé. “She’s a spoiled brat, so a princess.”

It was the second drive-thru pantry the sheriff’s office has organized since December in partnership with the Tails of Redemption program, Fetching Tails Foundation and Rescue Pack Chicago. Another event is being planned for March.

Officers Randy Kim, left, and Tim Skinner, right, load a car with dog food during the Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s drive-up pet food pantry Saturday.
Officers Randy Kim, left, and Tim Skinner, right, load a car with dog food during the Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s drive-up pet food pantry Saturday.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

“A lot of people have been economically impacted by the pandemic, so if they’re having a hard time providing for themselves, they’re probably also having a hard time providing for their pets,” said Sophia Ansari, a special assistant at the sheriff’s office. “So we’re just seeing this as an opportunity to help those people who may need assistance for their pets.”

A dog receives a stuffed toy during the Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s drive-up pet food pantry near West 28th Street and South California Boulevard.
A dog receives a stuffed toy during the Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s drive-up pet food pantry near West 28th Street and South California Boulevard.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

They also hoped people who were driving by would take notice of Pierre, a 2-year-old pit bull mix who’s up for adoption, Ansari said. Pierre was trained by Cook County Jail detainees through Tails of Redemption, a partnership with Chicago Animal Care and Control that has found homes for 35 dogs since 2018.

Officer Renee Vandenberg feeds Pierre, who was trained by detainees at Cook County Jail and is available for adoption, during the Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s drive-up pet food pantry.
Officer Renee Vandenberg feeds Pierre, who was trained by detainees at Cook County Jail and is available for adoption, during the Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s drive-up pet food pantry.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

As officers and volunteers loaded cars with goodies and pet owners drove by with their furry friends peering out the window, Pierre watched and playfully leapt onto anyone who approached him.

For information on adopting Pierre, email tailsofredemption@cookcountyil.gov.

From left to right: Kristy Michalski, volunteer coordinator of Fetching Tails Foundation, Linda Wyka, president of Fetching Tails Foundation, and volunteer Melanie Giovannelli play with Pierre, who is available for adoption.
From left to right: Kristy Michalski, volunteer coordinator of Fetching Tails Foundation, Linda Wyka, president of Fetching Tails Foundation, and volunteer Melanie Giovannelli play with Pierre, who is available for adoption.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
A dog peeks out of a car during the Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s drive-up pet food pantry.
A dog peeks out of a car during the Cook County Sheriff’s Office’s drive-up pet food pantry.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times